It may have been a short week with the Labor Day holiday, but plenty happened in Arlington County.
In stories you may have missed, fall campaign season kicked off on Tuesday with a candidate forum for the three County Board candidates and a debate between Del. Alfonso Lopez and challenger Adam Roosevelt.
And from today in local transportation news, Metro wants your feedback on various changes to local bus routes, and the Planning Commission sided with Crystal City residents in its discussions over the neighborhood’s new Virginia Railway Express station.
These were our five most-read articles this week:
- BREAKING: IOTA Club Closing This Month
- Arlington County Pursuing Amazon’s New Headquarters
- Wilson Hardware in Clarendon to Open Tomorrow
- County Board Releases Statement on DACA Decision
- Protests Greet Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on GMU’s Arlington Campus
And these received the most comments:
- County Board Releases Statement on DACA Decision
- Morning Notes (September 5)
- March Against White Supremacy Will Rally in Rosslyn This Afternoon
- Trump’s Decision to End DACA Program Criticized By Local Leaders
- Arlington GOP Criticizes County Board’s Response to DACA Decision
As a reminder, the Arlington Police, Fire & Sheriff Memorial 9/11 5K race is set for tomorrow, with road closures in effect around the Pentagon and Pentagon City that afternoon and evening.
Feel free to discuss anything of local interest in the comments below. Have a great weekend!
Flickr pool photo via wolfkann
Arlington County will remember the 184 victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks at a memorial ceremony on Monday morning.
The ceremony will begin at 9:30 a.m. on September 11 at Courthouse Plaza (2100 Clarendon Blvd), at the outdoor flagpoles above the Metro station.
A moment of silence will be observed at 9:37 a.m., marking the time that American Airlines Flight 77 flew into the Pentagon, where 184 people died. The silence will be followed by a playing of “Taps” and a lowering of the flag to half-staff.
The event will also feature a wreath-laying and the presentation of colors.
Capt. David Santini of the Arlington County Fire Department will give welcoming remarks, while local officials including County Manager Mark Schwartz, Fire Chief James Bonzano, Police Chief Jay Farr and Sheriff Beth Arthur will all attend. U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) is also set to be present at the commemorations.
The Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington will host two workshops this weekend to help participants combat racism in their communities.
The first workshop at the church at 4444 Arlington Blvd in Barcroft is tomorrow (Saturday) from 1-5 p.m. Multicultural consultant Paula Cole Jones hosts a free session entitled, “How do we engage in racial justice as UUs?”
Then on Sunday, the church hosts a training in partnership with Rosslyn-based nonprofit Service Never Sleeps on the organization’s signature program, Allyship.
“Allyship is about moving people to a new paradigm of thinking about privilege and marginalized communities,” the event registration page reads. “Allyship promotes the idea that we can be bridge-builders who work together, and support each other toward the common purpose of ensuring equality, equity, and inclusion for everyone.”
The workshop lasts from 1-6 p.m. at the church, and says it will “teach you about the causes of social injustice, how to be an effective ally for marginalized communities, and how to actively influence and educate others.” It is one of four Allyship trainings to be hosted at UUCA this fall, and registration online is required.
Other Allyship trainings at the church are set for October 11, October 18, November 2 and November 5.
Looking for a home? There are plenty of houses and condos open for viewing this weekend.
1511 S. George Mason Drive, #10
1 Bed/1 Bath Condo
Agent: Melissa Weinberg
Open: Sunday 1-3 p.m.
1736 Queens Lane, 3-192
1 Bed/1 Bath Condo
Agent: Brittany Camacho
Open: Sunday 2-4 p.m.
900 N. Stafford Street, #1910
0 Bed/1 Bath Condo
Agent: Carole Schweitzer
Open: Sunday 1-4 p.m.
3707 S. Kemper Road
3 Bed/1 Bath Single Family Home
Agent: Bruce Tyburski
Open: Sunday 12-3 p.m.
3911 9th Road S.
2 Bed/2 Townhome
Agent: Natalie Vaughan
Open: Sunday 2-4 p.m.
2521 S. Kenmore Court
2 Bed/2 Bath Townhome
Agent: Susan Wisely
Open: Sunday 2-4 p.m.
885 N. Nottingham Street
4 Bed/2 Bath Single-Family Home
Agent: Sherry Schaffer
Open: Sunday 2-4 p.m.
The Arlington Planning Commission recommended the County Board vote to further study two options for the new Crystal City Virginia Railway Express station, against the wishes of VRE and county staff.
The Commission voted 6-1-1 to support option Nos. 2 and 3 for the proposed new station at its meeting Thursday night. VRE and county staff wanted an endorsement of option No. 2 only.
The County Board will take up the matter at its September 16 or September 19 meetings.
Of the three options, option No. 1 would be closest to the current VRE platform, while option No. 2 would place the platform just south of the Crystal City Water Park and closer to the Crystal City Metro station.
Option No. 3 would be slightly further south than No. 2. The station would then connect to other areas of Crystal City through a combination of walkways and bridges. Residents believe option No. 3 may mitigate noise better than the other options.
Numerous opponents questioned the process, which has been led by VRE in consultation with the county. Sonali Soneji, VRE’s planning program administrator, and Tom Hickey, VRE’s chief development officer, both said choosing one option would have been preferable as it would have allowed for more detailed study.
But opponents said they have felt “railroaded” by staffers set on choosing option No. 2.
“The really sad part about this is that it became clear to us over the many months that this has been going on that the county staff had already made up their minds,” Carol Fuller of the Crystal City Civic Association told ARLnow before the hearing. “They knew which way they wanted to go.”
The desire for further study of two options was a key reason Commissioners voted for Nos. 2 and 3. James Lantelme voted against as he said he wanted the body to make a firm decision.
“I just don’t know yet. I need more analysis,” said Nancy Iacomini, explaining her reluctance to vote for one option alone.
VRE and county staff recommended option No. 2 as they said it connected best to the nearby Metro station and other transportation options like buses and bikes at the Crystal City Multimodal Center.
“It sounds to me, from what I can see, that the decision for option 2 is coming down exclusively to Metro and proximity to Metro,” said Natasha Atkins, president of the Aurora Highlands Civic Association, one of around 10 opponents to testify against the plan before the Planning Commission.
A number of stakeholders supported the plan in letters sent before the meeting, especially on the basis that it will help connect the VRE and Metro stations in Crystal City. Taylor Lawch of developer JBG Smith, which owns numerous nearby properties, testified that option No. 2 is “the only option that positions Crystal City and Arlington County to become a multi-modal transportation destination in the future.”
The Commission also voted unanimously to recommend that the County Board instruct County Manager Mark Schwartz to engage with rail freight company CSX and ask that engineers not sound their horns so close to residential buildings in Crystal City.
VRE trains also sound their horns for safety reasons to alert those nearby to a train, and residents said horns are often too loud and frequent from both entities. They also were critical of VRE’s noise assessment, which found no noticeable differences between options No. 2 and 3 in terms of loudness.
Supporters of option No. 3 also mentioned its provision of an access road for emergency vehicles. Hickey said that advancing an option for further design and refinement would solve those questions and many more, but he underscored the relative uncertainty within the process as it stands, something that gave opponents cause for concern.
“These will all be addressed in design, but we don’t have a design yet,” he said. “As soon as we start with design, we’ll look at these hazards and how they will be mitigated.”
The plan will go before the county’s Transit Advisory Committee on Tuesday, September 12 and before the Transportation Commission on Wednesday, September 13 for further discussion. The County Board is scheduled to hold a public hearing and vote on the plan on either Saturday, September 16 or Tuesday, September 19.
VRE’s Operations Board is expected to adopt an option on October 20, with a concept design due late this year ahead of further environmental study and preliminary engineering.
Editor’s Note: This biweekly column is sponsored by Dominion Wine and Beer (107 Rowell Court, Falls Church). It is written by Garrett Cruce, a Cicerone Program Certified Beer Server.
In June, the Brewers Association announced a seal that craft breweries could use to identify themselves as “independent.” The seal is a way for craft breweries who do not have the distribution power of big beer to differentiate themselves.
In the wake of craft brewery purchases by international beer companies like Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABI) and Heineken, it is apparent that distributors and consumers might be a bit confused about who is being mass produced and who is still a local or regional — or even national — craft brewery.
An upside-down bottle with the words “Certified Independent Craft” comprises the seal, and is intended for use on everything from windows to packaging. Not restricted to members of the Brewers Association, they require only that you be a commercial brewery and that you meet their requirements for being a craft brewery.
The idea is to draw a bright line between those breweries that appear to be independent, but are part of a larger corporation, and those that have retained their independence.
Since June, more than 2,000 of the 5,000 craft breweries in the U.S. have signed on to the program. Though the Brewers Association hasn’t published a list of participating breweries, an informal survey of local and nearby breweries includes Port City Brewing Company, Solace Brewing Company, Black Hoof Brewing Company and Dogfish Head Craft Brewery.
Here’s my big question to you: Will this seal help you choose beer in the future?
A rarely-open restaurant near Clarendon could be set for some big changes.
Pio Pio at 3300 Wilson Blvd has been the source of fascination for months, with some calling the Peruvian restaurant’s unpredictable hours downright “mysterious.” Pio Pio closed earlier this year, reportedly for maintenance on its roof.
But a permit approved in late July by the county indicates that someone has filed to open a new restaurant with indoor seating in the space.
There are no other concrete details available about the future of the eatery, but a tipster said it would be a kabob restaurant.
“They are fixing up the building and parking lot,” said the anonymous tipster.
As of Friday morning when an ARLnow reporter visited, no work appeared to have been done, with tables and chairs still sitting in the vacant restaurant.
Metro is seeking feedback on proposed changes to numerous bus lines, including the plans for new Columbia Pike service as well as other services that run through Arlington County.
Under a series of proposed changes put forward for Metrobus in D.C., Maryland and Virginia, Metro has put forward a plan to “restructure” service on Columbia Pike, in keeping with Arlington’s transit plan for the Pike.
A so-called “Premium Transit Network” is planned for the Pike and is set to open next summer instead of the cancelled streetcar. It will offer limited-stop service and “new or enhanced connections between Crystal City, Pentagon City and Skyline City.”
The buses are set to have a unique look, have additional service in Arlington to keep up with demand and consolidate all current Metrobus routes — the 16A, 16B, 16G, 16H, 16J, 16K and 16P — under the new network.
Other proposed changes to bus lines that run through Arlington are:
- 4A, 4B (Pershing Drive to Arlington Blvd)
Provide additional 4B trips in response to ridership, with the 4A operating only during weekday rush hours, with weekday midday and evening service eliminated. The county has proposed the 4A become a local ART bus route in FY 2020.
- 7A, 7F (Lincolnia to North Fairlington)
Modify service to operate via Pentagon City between the Pentagon and Shirlington to serve Pentagon City. New timetables will reflect an increase in the time between buses of approximately five minutes to accommodate additional travel time between the Pentagon and Pentagon City.
- 10E (Hunting Point to the Pentagon)
Eliminate 10E service to Rosslyn, and have the route operate between Pentagon and Hunting Point in Alexandria only.
- 22A, 22B (Barcroft to South Fairlington)
Modify Route 22A to operate via Pentagon City between the Pentagon and Shirlington to serve Pentagon City. New timetables would reflect an increase in the time between buses of approximately five minutes to accommodate additional travel time between the Pentagon and Pentagon City. Route 22B would be eliminated, with alternate service on Metrobus 22A and 22C.
Service would be every eight minutes during rush hour between Pentagon City and the Braddock Road Metro station on all trips to better match Metro’s Blue and Yellow lines.
Per a Metro press release, there are several ways community members can have their say:
- Complete an online survey.
- Fill out a paper survey and drop it in collection boxes located near the fare gates at Metrorail stations closest to the impacted routes. There is no need to take multiple surveys.
- Provide feedback to outreach staff September 6 – September 21, at designated times and locations on-board buses or at Metrorail stations.
- Attend an open house Tuesday, September 26, 2017, beginning at 5:30 p.m. followed by a public hearing from 6 – 7 p.m. Speaker registration is onsite only. Venue: Metro Headquarters Building (600 Fifth St. NW, Washington, DC 20001)
The deadline for providing feedback is 9 a.m. on Monday, October 2.
(Updated at 9:25 a.m.) Arlington’s most active live music venue is closing its doors this month.
The owners of IOTA Club and Cafe in Clarendon announced this morning they have decided to close after 23.5 years in business. The venue’s lease expires after Sept. 30, which will be IOTA’s last day in business.
Despite a campaign to “Save IOTA” earlier this year, Market Common Clarendon owner Regency Centers is proceeding with a plan to revamp the retail and office development, including IOTA’s space along Wilson Blvd. IOTA called the changes “much-needed building repairs and improvements.”
In a press release, IOTA owners Jane Negrey Inge and Stephen V. Negrey said that while Regency Centers tried to make accommodations, they ultimately made the difficult decision to close the club rather than temporarily relocate during renovations and pay higher rents upon moving back.
IOTA will host concerts to raise money for the Red Cross’s hurricane relief effort tonight and tomorrow starting at 8 p.m. Currently, the last item on IOTA’s performance calendar is an open mic night on Wednesday, Sept. 27. A “grand closing” event is planned for Sept. 30, though the details have not yet been announced.
“Watch [our] website and social media for announcements,” said Inge.
More from the press release:
IOTA Club & Cafe’s main mission has been LIVE MUSIC for 23-and-a-half years. IOTA has presented some of the most creative and talented musicians from across America, including many rising stars and dedicated artists exploring and-or earning a living making music. IOTA also has hosted acts from Canada, Mongolia, England, Ireland, Scotland, Japan, Niger, China, the Scandinavian countries and others. IOTA’s top priority has always been seeking artful, original and creative live music experiences. In addition, IOTA has showcased catalytic bands, and to a lesser extent DJs, all who put on good shows for a good time for the people.
Owners Jane Negrey Inge and Stephen V. Negrey believe they have made a contribution to their hometown Arlington, Virginia through a dedication to live music and hard work at the restaurant and bar business, the mainstay of the endeavor. They believe that creative and interesting options for consumers make communities better. They view their many years fighting for the life of IOTA as well worth it and peaking in a triumph of arts and entertainment through independent small business.
The countless performances and participation of local artist-musicians in the DC Metro Area have brought joy and good times to many thousands and have sustained IOTA. Jane and Stephen are especially grateful to these musicians in addition to the touring musicians that have inspired and entertained so many.
Regency Centers, the new owner/developer of Market Common Retail (since 2016, owner of the spaces leased by IOTA since 1993 on Wilson Boulevard), have announced their plans to make improvements to the block in order to make space available for tenants at more up-to-date market levels. Regency Centers kindly offered IOTA Jane and Stephen a six-months lease extension at rock-bottom rents, ending September 30, in order for them to review their situation. They determined they would not be able to afford to participate due to the cost of a temporary relocation, much-needed building repairs and improvements, and new higher rents. Besides, IOTA’s beloved and irreplaceable ice machine, The Hoshizaki KM-630MAF, is about to bite the dust!
The support of hundreds of SAVE IOTA participants has been amazing. Jane and Stephen have not wanted to let these IOTA fans down and hope they will watch the website and social media for upcoming events and other ways Jane and Stephen hope to support LIVE MUSIC in the future and continue to participate in art activity.
Jane and Stephen are grateful for the financial and other support from friends and family that has helped IOTA prevail since March 15, 1994. They shout out big respect to three trail-blazing music venues who opened before IOTA and have been their idols: Black Cat, 9:30 Club, and especially The Birchmere. It has been an honor to share the road with these great independent businesses, rocking in the free world, where people really get off on live music, the power, art and fun of it, and the community and fellowship it creates.
Just Listed highlights Arlington properties that just came on the market within the past week. This feature is written and sponsored by Team Cathell, “Your Orange Line Specialists.”
The holiday Labor Day weekend drew more buyer attention than the negotiating table. Buyers ratified only 41 contracts this week, the fewest since New Year’s week. But sellers braved the market and listed 71 homes with a nice selection of mid-priced single family properties. Check out what could be the narrowest home in Arlington (12-ft wide) at 711 N. Barton Street.
Interest rates remained virtually unchanged this week, dropping just two basis points to about 3.97% for a 30-yr fixed rate with no points. It seems homeowners got the memo with a spike in refinancing in the last two weeks. Good for them. A promising sign for the fall market is that purchase mortgage applications are up 5% over this time last year.
Click to see all the fresh new inventory in MRIS and call Team Cathell (703-975-2500) when you find a home you like.
- 4508 34TH ST S, ARLINGTON, VA 22206 – $494,900
- 800 IVY ST, ARLINGTON, VA 22204 – $675,900
- 713 NELSON ST, ARLINGTON, VA 22203 – $725,000
- 315 BARTON ST N, ARLINGTON, VA 22201 – $739,900
- 628 HARRISON ST N, ARLINGTON, VA 22205 – $995,000
- 711 BARTON ST N, ARLINGTON, VA 22201 – $1,050,000
- 1512 COLONIAL TER N, ARLINGTON, VA 22209 – $1,299,998
- 3917 LORCOM LN, ARLINGTON, VA 22207 – $1,350,000